Washington will bravely face the Trump government if it sues them regarding the state’s passage of its own net neutrality law.
Due to the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality, several states in the US like Washington forged and endorsed their own laws to protect them from the wireless and broadband providers’ unscrupulous practices. Chairman Ajit Pai used to say that eradicating the old principles and replacing it with new ones with a “lighter touch” will “close the digital divide.” Really?
At the end of last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared SB 822 as a law. State Senator Scott Wiener’s bill is a tough measure that withstood all the obstacles which non-net neutrality fans had set up before it reached the governor’s desk for signing. In a desperate move, the oppositions even made use of robocalls spreading inaccurate information regarding the increase in phone bills once the said bill is passed. Californians rejoiced with the outcome of their dedicated efforts which have been paid off by its passage.
At this point, net neutrality advocates won the battle to restore the open internet. It is a huge victory for the Californians and a big loss for the ISPs and their lobbyists. However, these “losers” will not give up that easily. Hours after SB 822 has been signed into a law, the Justice Department immediately filed a case against the state, while other oppositions follow suit.
Although Washington has not been sued yet, the State Governor said that they are ready for it. Gov. Jay Inslee embarked on a plan to restore net neutrality following the FCC’s eradication of its protection last December 2017. His plan to safeguard the open internet and his constituents consisted of both executive order
and a bill that was proposed by state Rep. Drew Hansen.
It is worth noting that among the several states in the US that shaped their own net neutrality law, Washington is the first state to legislate its own. Gov. Inslee signed the bill into a law in February of this year which mandates all ISPs that operate in the state to bolster net neutrality regulations. At the same time, these providers are prohibited from establishing “fast” and “slow” lanes.
Washington’s net neutrality law enables the state to implement it by way of the current Consumer Protection Act. It is an extensive measure drafted to inhibit fraud and other unjust business systems that ISPs operation in the state needs to comply with.
Edge providers such as Verizon might have promised to bolster net neutrality but that promise has been broken when reports emerged regarding the data-throttling incident of the Santa Clara County during a wildfire chase in the Mendocino Complex this year of July. Many assumed that the ISP’s unlawful practice might have given Gov. Brown the cue to declare SB 822 a law.
According to Gov. Inslee’s spokeswoman, Tara Lee’s email, “We would not want a planet where a handful of media content providers with commercial interests in cable companies and internet service providers were able to stifle alternative opinions. Control of the media is, of course, a hallmark of authoritarian states. But that’s not how we do it here.”
The Washington governor noted that the Nov. 6 midterm election would be the best happenstance to champion net neutrality. He persuaded the people to go to their free, unblocked, and still unfettered social network because of their bill and accept respective responsibility to make everybody to vote.
Washington became an example for other states to craft and pass their own net neutrality law. These states include Oregon, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Montana, and California which has the toughest law in town calling it the “gold standard” of net neutrality.
Unlike California, Washington did not ban the practice of zero-rating. It could be the reason or one of the reasons why the DOJ went after California, first.
If the current FCC administration did not deprive the people of net neutrality protections, there would never be a “patchwork” of rules, as they call it, from every state. There will be no protests from activists, violence and no throwing of accusations from the advocates and oppositions.
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